April 18, 2007
NBC did not do the socially responsible thing with their prize package (the video manifesto of the killer).
One expert calls their decision a "social catastrophy" -- read the article here.
Now Cho Seung-Hui's video is being played millions of times on TVs, laptops and PCs, some of them owned by future school shooters. He's getting more views than any YouTube video EVER released. Talk about inspiring other school shooters!!
There is ample research and examples to make this case. Check out The Copycat Effect.
The video proclaims that "I die like Jesus Christ, to inspire generations of the weak and the defenseless people." And he gets airtime and webtime to spew this? I can't believe how irresponsible media sources like NBC and a host of online portals are being. Once let out of the bottle, this newly minted rock star will use the power of sight sound and motion to further his cause after death. If I were NBC I would have squashed it. Give it to the authorities and never show it. They won't show the footage when Steve Irwin was killed, too disturbing. But the media and online publishers cannot resist this video.
Did you notice that in the distributed video, NBC placed their logo in the upper left hand corner? Where ever you see it, they wanted the credit! Do you think he chose them because they have the best programming? Was it because he admired Must See TV?
Do they think that they are generating incremental page views or eyeballs for ad revenue? Ridiculous! No advertiser gets ANY value from this association. In my experience, ad buyers never want to associate with tragedy.
Do you remember when the media finally wised up and stopped showing planes flying into the towers????
I remember back in 2001 after September 11, all the portals took down ads on the home page and focused on Red Cross. "No profiteering on tragedy" was the social norm. Them days are over. I'm worried about the power and lack of accountability of big media.
If you know any advertisers or ad agencies, email them this post and tell them to refuse to pay for ad impressions served against this tragedy. If you know anyone at a newspaper, a web portal or a television station/outlet, tell them how you feel. I've done the best I can, contacting Jerry Yang at Yahoo, execs at GE and even major sites like Huffington Post and MSN. Let's make a difference right now and show that backlash can control the fifth estate.
Thanks to Dave @ 40 N 83 W, who used his blog to do just that. He also posted contact information for NBC as well as their #1 ad buyer, P&G. Check it out here.
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